Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Ferrari could spell the end of race engineer Rob Smedley’s career with the Italian team.
As rumours of the Finn’s signing became clearer at Monza last weekend, some insiders could not hide their sniggering at the thought of Briton Smedley working hand-in-hand with Iceman Raikkonen.
“They would have to supply [Smedley’s] headset without a microphone,” Auto Motor und Sport quotes one paddock wag as chuckling.
That’s because 39-year-old Smedley is famous for his close, and almost fatherly relationship with the departing Felipe Massa.
Indeed, Smedley is known for talking at length on the radio with Massa, often calling the Brazilian ‘Felipe-baby’ and issuing detailed driving and tactical instructions.
Italy’s Autosprint reports that Ferrari pairing Raikkonen – who last year boosted his cult status by telling his race engineer to ‘leave me alone, I know what I’m doing’ – with Smedley is highly unlikely.
In fact, Smedley has been linked with a return to Williams for 2014. Just before beginning his Formula 1 career with Jordan, Smedley worked for Williams’ touring car team.
Autosprint said that Smedley was unlikely to be a mere race engineer at Williams, but would rather take on a role with greater technical or engineering responsibility. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.